Pastor-Theologian: Will the Job Market Drive PhD Graduates into the Pulpit?

While brewing a second cup of coffee to keep alert in my Greek readings this morning, I found Chris Spinks’ post “Avoid a PhD?” His reflections were stimulated by Anthony LeDonne’s most recent attempt to dissuade prospective PhD candidates from pursuing their vocational dreams (LeDonne offers such discouragement on a monthly basis). The gist of…

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New Testament Studies at Durham… New Strengths

In spite of the horrific costs of postgraduate study in the UK, I am so pleased that Durham is where I have ended up.  I am biased, of course.  But bias might actually be a criterion for truthfulness—sometimes the only accurate portrayals are not the “objective” views from outsiders, but the subjective view from insiders….

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Imagination & Biblical Scholarship

Since living in England, my family and I have had our imaginative capacities expanded when it comes to reflecting on history.  Bounding on castle grounds and clambering hillsides once ascended by Viking invaders or defended from Picts by Roman soliders… these multi-sensory experiences provide a landscape / cityscape / castle-scape for imagining the historical events…

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On NOT being a Minister

It is Sunday morning, and I have no sermon to preach and no Bible Study to prepare.  I will attend church, but I will not be expected to serve Communion or set up mid-week pastoral appointments.  I have no mailbox to check in the church office.  I have nothing to print out, no copies to…

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1-Year into the PhD: 12 Months of Living Squeamishly

[The map above is an inset in a map of “The Bishopric and Citie of Durham”—the inset shows the peninsula where I study, between the castle and cathedral.  You can find more of these at www.oldmap.co.uk] “Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make…

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Our Life in England and the PhD: Year One

The 8th of August, 2011.  I will not forget that date.  After ten years of wondering, thinking, praying and making plans for a UK PhD program, that was the day of departure.  That was the day when my wife and I—via a family-led carpool, three planes, a double-decker bus, a southbound train out of Scotland,…

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